William WILLS/WELLS?

My ancestor William Wills or Wells was married in Brisbane in 1851 according to a family bible. He was born on 18 August 1812 at Wolverton. He married Mary Costello, an Irish Famine Orphan, who arrived in Sydney on the “John Knox” in 1850. William’s 1890 death certificate states that he had been in Queensland for 39 years. Was he, however, convict William Wells who arrived in Sydney on the “Katherine Stewart Forbes” in 1830? – Allan P.

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One comment on “William WILLS/WELLS?

  1. For web-site re enquiry about Wills/Wells

    Marilyn England’s database on Moreton Bay convicts has no more than you already have about the convict William Wells (Katherine Stewart Forbes 1829), other than the remark that there was a Constable Wells mentioned in 1837.

    At the Qld State Archives, look at the following Colonial Secretary’s Letters –

    NEW SOUTH WALES – COLONIAL SECRETARY LETTERS RELATING TO MORETON BAY AND QUEENSLAND RECEIVED 1822 – 1860 LETTERS RECEIVED 1838 – 1839 AND PAPERS FILED WITH THEM – REEL A2.10 CONTINUED FROM REEL A2.9

    38/04510 1838 05 07 Hon CS Brisbane Town Sydney Cotton, Major 28th Regt Commandant 1838 04 16 Letter submitting List of 4 Prisoners whose term of servitude at Moreton Bay has expired & who desire to remain – such additional servitude to lead to ticket of leave – labour needed [No 38/7] Recommends William Wells, Thomas Holford & John Edmonds – ticket of leave Also re William Booth – sawyer List of Convicts whose Colonial Sentences have expired who wish to remain at Moreton Bay until they become entitled to the indulgence of a Ticket of Leave 1 William Wells/ “Katherine Stewart Forbes” – bricklayer 2 Thomas Holford/ “Atlas” 4 – sawyer 3 John Edmonds/ “Lord Melville” – harness maker 4 William Booth/ “Aurora” – sawyer A2.10 001 – 002 003 – 005

    Sydney Cotton, Major 28th Regt Commandant 1838 04 18~ “No 2” Particulars of a Constable whose Term of Servitude expires on the following date agreeable to the 62nd Paragraph of Penal Settlement Regulations 18th April 1838 William Wells/ “Katherine Stewart Forbes” A2.10 033

    This seems to confirm that he was the Constable mentioned.

    Daughters Frances and Alice are listed as born under the name Wells in 1852 and 1854 in Brisbane. Further children are recorded under Wills, so it may be that he changed his name. The fact that convict Wells wanted to remain in Brisbane is the strongest link you have to work with to connect your William and the convict.

    If William did not arrive in Qld until 1851, and he was the convict, what happened after he left Moreton Bay? Your research has indicated that instead of going to Port Phillip he was sent to Yass by mistake. It seems to be a Certificate of Freedom in 1843 that you have accessed – 7 years initial sentence plus 7 years colonial sentence.

    Consult the Joan Reese indexes of the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence after 1825. You may find out where he was before arriving in Brisbane.

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